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Why do ships require underwater inspections?
30 Dec 2017

Why do ships require underwater inspections?


Is everything ‘shipshape’?

Marine engineers usually take care of most of the routine maintenance tasks on a ship. However, the submerged areas cannot be checked for possible damage unless the ship is brought out to dry dock.

Since frequent dry docking is practically not possible, ship owners/operators resort to an assessment technique called ‘underwater ship inspection’. Also known as an in-water survey, an underwater ship inspection entails qualified, well-trained divers going below the waterline to check the submerged areas of the ship. This exercise will enable the vessel’s managers to detect any problems and take remedial action quickly. It is a precautionary measure and will avoid costly, prolonged repairs at a later stage.

Some of the different reasons for taking up an underwater ship inspection are discussed below.

General In-water Survey

A general in-water survey primarily focuses on assessing structural integrity. Here, divers seek out damage to hull plates and propeller blades, such as cracking, bending or chafing; worn out anodes; clogged sea chest grids; leaking stern tube seals, among other faults.

Pre-Sale, Pre/Post-Charter Surveys

Investors/clients looking to buy or charter a second-hand vessel are interested in knowing its current condition for operational and valuation purposes; a pre-purchase underwater ship inspection, followed by an elaborate report, will provide them with the requisite info. Similarly, this survey and report are also sought by classification societies and insurance companies for their own purpose.

Pre-Dry Dock Inspection

Vessel lay-up time at the dry dock is a crucial consideration, which also has financial implications. A meticulous pre-dry dock ship inspection helps avoid unnecessary delay in dry dock, thus saving precious time and optimising cost as well.

Removal of dangerous obstructions

Obstructions at anchorages or berths can present a risk for the smooth cast off of a ship. Regardless whether it is natural or manmade, these obstructions need to be identified and safely removed to commence smooth and safe sailing. A bottom survey of the concerned ship needs to be undertaken in such a situation.

KBAM – the trusted experts in Underwater Ship Inspection Services

Whatever the need or motive for underwater ship inspection, KBA Marine has the technical expertise to carry it out successfully and is accredited by 5 marine classification societies (ABS, DNV, GL, Lloyds, BV) to perform UWILD (Pending NKK, KR, RINA) i.e., Underwater Inspection In Lieu of Dry Docking. Our qualified, competent divers take the plunge confidently to resolve issues that will ultimately save time, effort and money in the long run for vessel owners/operators. To know more about our underwater inspection services, please contact us.

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